Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26433696
Trends Microbiol. 2015 Oct;23(10):642-52
Cyanobacteria are an ancient lineage of slow-growing photosynthetic bacteria and a prolific source of natural products with intricate chemical structures and potent biological activities. The bulk of these natural products are known from just a handful of genera. Recent efforts have elucidated the mechanisms underpinning the biosynthesis of a diverse array of natural products from cyanobacteria. Many of the biosynthetic mechanisms are unique to cyanobacteria or rarely described from other organisms. Advances in genome sequence technology have precipitated a deluge of genome sequences for cyanobacteria. This makes it possible to link known natural products to biosynthetic gene clusters but also accelerates the discovery of new natural products through genome mining. These studies demonstrate that cyanobacteria encode a huge variety of cryptic gene clusters for the production of natural products, and the known chemical diversity is likely to be just a fraction of the true biosynthetic capabilities of this fascinating and ancient group of organisms.